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Pele Said Lionel Messi 'Only Shoots With One Leg', He Broke His Record With Right-Footed Strike

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Pele Said Lionel Messi 'Only Shoots With One Leg', He Broke His Record With Right-Footed Strike

In 2019, Pele bizarrely criticised Lionel Messi and claimed that the six-time Ballon d'Or winner cannot use his weaker foot, cannot head the ball and only has one trick to his game.

In a quite remarkable attack on the 34-year-old, the Brazilian player was adamant that both he and Diego Maradona were better - and that the two couldn't be compared.

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"How can you make a comparison between a guy who heads the ball well, shoots with the left, shoots with the right and another who only shoots with one leg, only has one skill and doesn't head the ball well?" the former Santos forward told Folha de Sao Paulo, via The Mirror.

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"How can you compare? To compare with Pele, it has to be someone who shoots well with the left, shoots well with the right, and scores headers."

But in the early hours of Friday morning, Messi broke Pele's South American goalscoring record in the World Cup qualifier against Bolivia.

Image: PA
Image: PA

He hit a 55th career hat-trick, kicking off the trio of goals with a glorious solo goal to open the scoring in the 14th minute.

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And his second goal, which saw him reach 78 goals for his country and surpass Pele's tally of 77, was fittingly scored with his weaker right foot.

Naturally, it garnered a whole lot of reaction on social media - with many harking back to those Pele comments:

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Ironically, when Messi equalled Pele's record for most goals for a single club, he did it courtesy of a header against Valencia.

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At the time, Pele did then congratulate Messi and told the Argentine "I admire you very much".

Messi broke the record in front of 20,000 Argentina fans in Buenos Aires and he and the teammate were able to celebrate the summer's Copa America triumph after the win.

Image: PA
Image: PA

Having waited so long for a trophy with the national team, Messi was full of emotion.

“I was very nervous, I just wanted to enjoy the night. I waited a long time for this,” Messi said post-match.

"We won the game that was the most important thing and now we can celebrate.

“It was a unique moment because of where and how we obtained the title.

“There was no better way to do it and been able to celebrate the title now, it’s incredible. My mother, my brothers are here in the stands. They have suffered a lot … I’m very happy.”

Featured Image Credit: Image: PA & Twitter

Topics: Lionel Messi, Pele, Brazil, Argentina, Paris Saint-Germain

Josh Lawless
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